If you ever needed proof of the placebo effect, a recent study on back pain offers up a pile. The study found (according to the BBC) that "[a]fter six months 47% of patients in the acupuncture group reported a significant improvement in pain symptoms, compared to 44% in the sham [fake acupuncture] group, and just 27% in the group who received conventional therapy." Almost twice as many people improved from a placebo (or some as yet unidentified) effect as from conventional (real) treatment.
interesting! 2 of my coworkers have suggested acupuncture as fabulous for lower back problems. ive always been intrigued so may end up doing it sometime in the future but this is an amusing and interesting study :O)